West Texas A&M is favored to win the Lone Star Conference championship, according to the 2008 LSC preseason volleyball poll announced Thursday.
The league's preseason polls reflect the opinions of LSC head coaches and sports information directors, plus various media representatives from throughout the region.
The 2008 volleyball season begins in late August, with 14 teams set to compete in the league including first-year program East Central. LSC teams will use a one-conference, single round-robin scheduling model in 2008, in which each team will play one match against each of the other teams.
The LSC regular season title will be determined by conference matches with the champion and runner-up receiving trophies, while the postseason tournament will use an eight-team bracket, taking the top eight teams in the final conference standings. The tournament will be played Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13-15, using the NCAA regional format and be hosted by the No. 1 seed.
The Lady Buffs compiled a 36-8 overall and perfect 12-0 LSC record in 2007. WTAMU claimed the LSC Championship, Southwest Regional title and advanced to the national semifinals for the second straight year.
WTAMU earned first-place votes on 35 of the 37 votes cast for a total of 515 points. Central Oklahoma and Midwestern State each picked up one of the remaining first place votes to finish second and third, respectively. UCO edged MSU with 448 total points to 446 for the Mustangs.
Abilene Christian was picked third with 397 points, while Texas Woman's was fifth with 339, Texas A&M-Kingsville sixth with 305, Cameron seventh with 279 and Tarleton State eighth with 272.
Angelo State (208), Southwestern Oklahoma (189), Southeastern Oklahoma (166), Texas A&M-Commerce (159), Eastern New Mexico (93) and East Central (69) rounded out the poll.
2008 LSC Preseason Volleyball Poll
1 West Texas A&M (35) 515
2 Central Oklahoma (1) 448
3 Midwestern State (1)446
4 Abilene Christian 397
5 Texas Woman's 339
6 Texas A&M-Kingsville 305
7 Cameron 279
8 Tarleton State 272
9 Angelo State 208
10 Southwestern Oklahoma State 189
11 Southeastern Oklahoma State 166
12 Texas A&M-Commerce 159
13 Eastern New Mexico 93
14 East Central 69
Volleyball preseason honors announced
Three Lone Star Conference volleyball stars were honored Thursday as league officials announced the Preseason Players of the Year for the 2008 season.
West Texas A&M swept the honors as Laura Prinsen was named Offensive Player of the Year, while Sara Contreras claimed Defensive Player of the Year recognition and Katie Rickwartz received Setter of the Year acclaim.
The league's preseason awards were selected by a vote of LSC head coaches and sports information directors, plus various media representatives from throughout the region.
Prinsen, a junior from Spring, Texas, was the overpowering choice for offensive honors, earning 30 of 36 votes cast. The reigning Offensive Player of the Year, she led WTAMU in both kills (586) and kills per game (3.88). She also is second in total blocks (85), third in digs (395) and third in assists (99).
Contreras was the top choice for defensive acclaim, tallying 15 of the 35 votes cast to edge out Midwestern State's Alysha Pritt (10 votes).
A senior from Amarillo, Texas, Contreras was All-LSC last season with a team-high 869 digs for an average of 5.83 per game.
Rickwartz was the popular choice for Setter of the Year with 21 votes, to finish ahead of MSU's Allison Schreiber (13 votes).
The Canyon, Texas, native, enters her junior campaign after pacing both the Lady Buffs and LSC in assists with 1884 and assists per game with 12.82, while earning co-Setter of the Year recognition.
These players will lead their teams into the 2008 season which begins Aug. 28. The LSC has 14 teams set to compete including first-year program East Central. LSC teams will use a one-conference, single round-robin scheduling model in 2008, in which each team will play one match against each of the other team